When the Golden Knights win, Las Vegas sports books usually lose.
But that wasn’t the case Sunday night, when the South Point and MGM Resorts sports books each won money when the Knights beat the Los Angeles Kings 3-2 to take a 3-0 lead in their NHL first-round playoff series.
“We’re 1-75 now against the Golden Knights,” veteran South Point oddsmaker Jimmy Vaccaro cracked. “It’s the first time it’s turned around like that. You could see it coming to some degree. We’ve been overwhelmed on ticket count by Las Vegas locals who’ve been betting the Golden Knights every day and getting paid. But this was an angle play by the wiseguys on a team down 2-0 going home.
“We got a lot of wiseguy play on the phones (on the Kings) and when they bet it’s for $1,000 or $2,000. Locals bet $40 to $100. We actually got bailed out a little bit at the end.”
Columbo vs. Knights
Vaccaro, a Las Vegas oddsmaker since the 1970s but not a big hockey guy, joked on Twitter before the playoffs that he might “finally find out what the blue lines mean.”
“The (NHL) decisions are much bigger than they were in previous years. That’s the only reason I’ve been watching it,” Vaccaro said. “Before the Knights came to town, the only time there was any type of interest was when (Wayne) Gretzky came (to Los Angeles). Even with him, it only lasted a year.
“I’ve been pleasantly surprised. The Knights are even getting old guys like me to watch a little more.”
Vaccaro said he couldn’t stay up late enough to watch the end of Sunday’s game. He was going back and forth between the game and an episode of “Columbo” when he fell asleep.
“The last thing I remember was Columbo putting a hand up to his forehead asking a question,” he said. “I didn’t see the score until quarter of 7 (Monday morning).”
Sharps back Kings
MGM Resorts sports book director Jay Rood said sharp bettors also backed the Kings at his 10 Strip locations.
“There was some sharp action and a couple deep-pocket players who had the opinion that the Kings weren’t going to go down 3-0,” Rood said. “I’m sure we’re going to be in that spot again (Tuesday) where they’ll probably think there’s no chance they’re going to get swept.”
Take the over
Handicapper Dana Lane entered Monday with a 72-43-3 ATS record (62.6 percent) on his NHL Power Play picks in the Review-Journal. He also started strong on his series plays on the Knights, Blue Jackets and Sharks.
Lane likes the Knights and Kings to go over their total of five goals in Game 4.
“This is a desperation game for the Kings,” said Lane (@DanaLaneSports). “L.A. has nothing to lose, so if they’re down two goals, it’d be nothing to see two empty netters at the end.
“The other thing is Vegas has plenty of offensive firepower to put it close to the total by themselves. A lot of factors point to the over.”
NFL draft day party
Sunset Station will host its fifth annual NFL draft day party at 3:30 p.m. April 26 inside Club Madrid. The event is free and open to the public. The first 500 people will receive a “Get Drafted” T-shirt and there will be raffle prizes and food and drink specials — along with an expanded menu of prop bets.